The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday reacted to the judgment of the Federal High Court which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to restrain candidates of the party in Rivers State from participating in the 2019 elections.
The party said despite Monday’s ruling on the two separate suits filed by Senator Magnus Abe and others against Rivers APC and others and also by the state’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against APC and INEC, it would get justice at the Supreme Court.
In the judgment, the presiding judge, Justice Kolawole Omotosho also ruled that APC would not participate in Governorship, Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly elections during the forthcoming 2019 polls in Rivers.
Justice Kolawole declared as illegal, null and void the direct and indirect primaries of the party in the state, holding that they were conducted while the judgment of Justice Chinwendu Nwogu nullifying the primaries was still pending.
“Importance of obedience and compliance to court order is paramount. Rule of law must be adhered to for the country to move forward. Political parties should always obey the order of the court,” he said.
Reacting to the ruling, the Rivers State Chapter of the APC through a statement signed by Chris Finebone of its Media and Publicity Department, the party said it had instructed its lawyers to review the case and file an appeal immediately in order not to jeopardize the already existing legal rights of its candidates before INEC.
“Under the Electoral Act 2010, a third party can only challenge the nomination of the APC candidates as prescribed in Section 31(5) & (6) or challenge the return of APC candidates in accordance with Section 138(1) of the Electoral Act.
“Nothing more imaginary can fit into the contemplation of the Nigerian electoral laws. We therefore call on all members of the APC in Rivers State to remain calm, focused, undaunted and go about their electioneering business with equanimity. We believe that at the end, victory will be served,” the statement added.